Warfare, Conflict and Violence

Module code: AR7354

Conflict, violence and warfare are typical, if not universal, features of human societies. However, from being (arguably) overemphasised in archaeology in the past, during recent decades they have been widely downplayed and neglected, not least in the study of Rome and neighbouring societies.

You’ll be critically evaluating archaeological, textual and visual-representational evidence for warfare, violence and conflict within and around the Roman world. This will involve discussing ways in which evidence relevant to violence, conflict and associated institutions and ideological structures may be identified, studied and interpreted.

You’ll discover the theoretical and methodological approaches that archaeologists use to study of these areas of human action. This will illuminate the past development, present state and future potential of archaeological study of warfare, conflict and violence in late prehistoric and early historic societies.

This will be contextualised by research in Ancient History and Military Studies, as well as other relevant disciplines. This module aims to:

  • Consider the past development, present state, and future potential of archaeological studies of warfare, conflict and violence among the societies of the Roman world and adjacent territories, in the context of parallel and complementary research in Ancient History, military studies and other relevant disciplines.
  • Study the ways in which evidence relevant to violence, conflict, and associated institutions and ideological structures may be identified, studied and interpreted.
  • Critique theoretical and methodological approaches deployed by archaeologists in the study of these areas of human action.
  • Develop your analytical and presentational skills enabling you to express ideas with clarity and precision.
  • Develop your knowledge of the topic, particularly through demonstrating wide reading.

Topics covered

  • Methodological, theoretical and ethical issues relating to conflict
  • Archaeological and other types of evidence for warfare, violence and conflict in past societies
  • Accounts and representations of warfare, violence and conflict in past societies

Learning

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 2 hours of project supervision
  • 1 hour of material culture workshop
  • 267 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Essay, 2,000 words (33%)
  • Project, 5,000 words (67%)